The Grass Is Always Greener – On God’s Side

Picture this, you enter your favorite restaurant, your stomach is grumbling from inexplicable hunger, but you still can’t decide what food to order from the wrinkled and all-too-familiar menu no matter how many times you’ve eaten there. So you sneak a peek at all the tables you pass en route to yours, hoping your peripheral vision is as acute as it is subtle, and order what everyone else is having. You know you’ve always loved and ordered the restaurant’s extra crispy fried chicken, but the burritos, fish and chips and coleslaw on the other tables suddenly look ten times more appetizing.

So your order arrives and you realize immediately after your first bite of the chunky burritos that you should have just followed your instincts and ordered your usual fried chicken.

In much the same way, have you ever noticed how the plants are always much greener after the rain? The grass and trees are also somewhat taller (or I could just be imagining it), the shrubs have somehow grown more leaves, and the overall atmosphere in any garden is somewhat fresher and cleaner. My husband and I are always surprised after a day of rain (and just a good mowing 2 days before) to see our garden bursting with life. This never happens to our garden when we water it! We can water the plants all day and still not get the same glorious results. Our plants would most likely drown!

I have had only 3 potted plants in my entire life – one was a money tree, the second was a basil plant and the third was a Chinese “good luck” bamboo shoot. My fingers have been stained by all the colors of the rainbow (I used to paint a lot) but I have never had the “green thumb”. No amount of paint could give that elusive green thumb to me. Of my 3 potted plants, only the money tree survived for over a year (the other two didn’t last more than a month), and this because I left it out in the garden for Mother Nature to take care of. But, alas! As history has shown me twice, it, too, faced its early demise as our hyperactive Labrador pup chewed up all of its leaves and toppled the pot over. Need I say more? Suddenly the saying about money not growing on trees gave me a strange sense of comfort as I looked down at the broken pot and the pile of dirt and torn leaves on our foyer.

Leaving our home now and going farther north in Alaska (hypothetically speaking, of course), I watched with envy (on Discovery Channel) as the bears freely caught and ate their live, fresh pink salmon. There was more than enough fish for all the bears and the “leftover” fish swam up shore, changed color, and died. Wow! I did not know whether I should have felt bad that the salmon died or that we humans pay a lot just to get a taste of leaping fresh salmon! The bears have it so good!

The point of it all is this: the grass is always greener (and fresher!) on God’s side. Everything that our almighty God has created is good (1Timothy 4:4). Our God sustains the earth and all creation by his powerful Word (Hebrews 1:3)! Can it get any better (or greener) than that?

On a human level, we tend to perceive what our fellow humans have as better than what we have. Someone else always has a “better” house, a newer car, a more fulfilling job, a bigger church, prettier children, and even a tastier order (the chunky burritos). Try as we might, struggle as we ought, we can never find the lasting fulfillment we need or the most satisfactory results from other people or from anything man-made. The grass is not always greener on man’s (or woman’s) side. If anything, our constant struggle to “have it better” will wear us out and only last us our lifetime (literally), or less.

Wouldn’t you want to have it better for eternity? Yes, I believe the grass is always greener on the other side, the side that leads to heaven. King David believed it when he said, “Blessed is the man… (whose) delight is in the Lord… He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1: 1-3)

No wonder nature has it so good! We can have it too, if we stay on God’s side. Um, can I have the extra crispy fried chicken instead?